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'Perhaps so, Master Copperfield,' he replied. 'But I've got a
motive, as my fellow-partner used to say; and I go at it tooth and
nail. I mustn't be put upon, as a numble person, too much. I
can't allow people in my way. Really they must come out of the
cart, Master Copperfield!'

'I don't understand you,' said I.

'Don't you, though?' he returned, with one of his jerks. 'I'm
astonished at that, Master Copperfield, you being usually so quick!
I'll try to be plainer, another time. - Is that Mr. Maldon
a-norseback, ringing at the gate, sir?'

'It looks like him,' I replied, as carelessly as I could.

Uriah stopped short, put his hands between his great knobs of
knees, and doubled himself up with laughter. With perfectly silent
laughter. Not a sound escaped from him. I was so repelled by his
odious behaviour, particularly by this concluding instance, that I
turned away without any ceremony; and left him doubled up in the
middle of the garden, like a scarecrow in want of support.

It was not on that evening; but, as I well remember, on the next
evening but one, which was a Sunday; that I took Agnes to see Dora.
I had arranged the visit, beforehand, with Miss Lavinia; and Agnes
was expected to tea.

I was in a flutter of pride and anxiety; pride in my dear little
betrothed, and anxiety that Agnes should like her. All the way to
Putney, Agnes being inside the stage-coach, and I outside, I
pictured Dora to myself in every one of the pretty looks I knew so
well; now making up my mind that I should like her to look exactly
as she looked at such a time, and then doubting whether I should
not prefer her looking as she looked at such another time; and
almost worrying myself into a fever about it.

I was troubled by no doubt of her being very pretty, in any case;
but it fell out that I had never seen her look so well. She was
not in the drawing-room when I presented Agnes to her little aunts,
but was shyly keeping out of the way. I knew where to look for
her, now; and sure enough I found her stopping her ears again,
behind the same dull old door.

At first she wouldn't come at all; and then she pleaded for five
minutes by my watch. When at length she put her arm through mine,
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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